Viral Sandeshkhali video: Calcutta HC Bars Police from taking coercive action against BJP leader

A single-judge bench of the Calcutta High Court on Tuesday barred the West Bengal Police from initiating a probe or adopting coercive action in connection with a sting operation involving a local BJP leader from Sandeshkhali, which had gone viral recently.

In the purported video, local BJP leader Gangadhar Kayal could be heard claiming that the protests staged by the women against alleged sexual harassment by local Trinamool Congress leaders in Sandeshkhali were orchestrated by the BJP.

On May 10, Kayal approached the single-judge bench of Justice Jay Sengupta, claiming that his voice was doctored in the video using artificial intelligence.

In his plea, he also sought protection from coercive action against him by the state police.

On Tuesday, Justice Sengupta’s bench barred the state police from initiating a probe or adopting coercive action against Kayal for the time being.

The matter will next come up hearing on May 17.

After the video surfaced on May 4, Kayal, a mandal president of the BJP in Sandeshkhali, first approached the CBI claiming that his voice was doctored in the clip using artificial intelligence.

The CBI, following an order from the Calcutta High Court, is already conducting a probe into the complaints of sexual harassment, illegal land grabbing, and extortion in Sandeshkhali by a section of the local Trinamool Congress leaders.

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Referring to the ongoing CBI probe which is court-monitored, Justice Sengupta on Tuesday questioned the basis on which the FIR was registered against Kayal in the matter.

He also said that the FIR could have been registered after obtaining the necessary permission from the judicial magistrate.

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